ADHD - A New Perspective for Understanding
Over the next few weeks, KS Services is excited to share a blog series with a focus on ADHD. The goal of this series is to provide a resource for families interested in understanding the nuanced ways that ADHD can present, identify the challenges and strengths that can come with an ADHD diagnosis, and provide applicable support and resources for families. Please keep in mind that this is just an overview of research being done in the field and only provides an overview. Years of research continues to evolve our understanding of ADHD. Do not hesitate to reach out to KS Services for more in-depth resources and support.
According to Dr Russel Barkley (a clinical psychologist with a specialization in clinical neuropsychology and an ADHD specialist), the ideal treatment package for ADHD begins with understanding. For any treatment to be effective, parents (and older teens) need to have a very clear understanding of ADHD and its impact on executive functioning skills. Dr. Barkely contends in his scientifically based research that ADHD is not a disorder of attention but a disorder of regulation - a skill that stems from executive functioning. To understand ADHD, it is important to look first at its impact on executive functioning.
Scientists continue to research and identify the impact of ADHD on a person's ability to engage in “self-regulation using the brain’s executive functions or abilities” (Barkley, 2020). For more information on this research, consider the following website https://www.russellbarkley.org/index.html
What are the major executive functions of the brain? A basic list includes:
Students and adults diagnosed with ADHD are not lacking in attention (as a matter of fact most diagnosed with ADHD can have laser focused attention when needed). Instead, those with ADHD are working through deficits that impact their ability to regulate their memory, their motivation, their self-control, and their emotion. As families, understanding the nuanced way that ADHD can impact these regulation skills ultimately leads to increased compassion and understanding in the home. This is the first step in ADHD treatment - increased understanding for increased compassion.
For more information on executive functioning skills and ADHD’s impact on self-regulation, please contact KS Services at www.keystoneservices.biz. A clinician will be happy to provide a free consultation.
Laura Waller, MS, LPC, NCC, ADHD-CCSP
Licensed Professional Counselor